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Incomplete installation causing problem

By JOHN TORRO

© St. Petersburg Times, published August 7, 2000


Q. When I start my computer, I get this message: "Cannot find a device file that may be needed to run Windows or a Windows application. The Windows registry or System.ini file no longer exists. If you deleted this file on purpose, try installing the associated application using its uninstall or setup program. If you still want to use this application associated with this device file, try reinstalling that application to replace missing file. Ndiswan.vxd." If I don't do anything, and just wait, the computer starts normally. Sometimes it will say "Press any key to continue." How can I reinstall the missing file?

A. This problem occurs if you install Dial-Up Networking, Dial-Up Adapter or Virtual Private Networking but cancel the setup while the Copying Files dialog box is displayed. The Dial-Up Networking files are not copied to the hard drive but the file names are added to the Windows registry. When the computer is restarted, the files are requested and cannot be found.

According to Microsoft, to solve this problem, remove and then reinstall Dial-Up Networking. Follow these steps:

1. In Control Panel, double-click Add/Remove Programs.

2. Click the Windows Setup tab and then click Communications.

3. Click Details, and then click the Dial-Up Networking check box to clear it. Note: If you receive the Ndiswan.vxd error message, click to clear the Virtual Private Networking check box only.

4. Click Close, then click OK.

5. When you are prompted, restart Windows.

6. In Control Panel, double-click Add/Remove Programs.

7. Click the Windows Setup tab, then click Communications.

8. Click Details, then click the Dial-Up Networking check box to select it. Note: If you cleared the Virtual Private Networking check box in step 3, click to select it.

9. Click Close, then click OK.

10. If you are prompted to restart Windows, do so.

Missing registry reference

Q. When I boot up my Windows 98 computer, I get this message: "Cannot find a device file that may be needed to run Windows or a Windows application. The Windows registry or System.ini file refers to this device file, but the file no longer exists. If you deleted this file on purpose, try uninstalling the associated application or setup program. If you still want to use the application with this device file, try reinstalling that application to replace the missing file. C:\Progra1\symantec\pcanyw1\aw_host.386. Press any key to continue." I installed pcAnywhere but my computer wouldn't shut down or start up properly so I uninstalled it. Wow do I find out what file Windows is looking for?

A. Device drivers with a .386 file extension usually are found in the System.ini file. However, in this case this reference is being made from the following registry entry: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\VxD\AW_HOST].

Run RegEdit then locate and delete this key. Before editing the registry file, make a backup copy (run RegEdit, then Registry, Export Registry File). When you reboot, your error message will be gone.

Icons in the task bar

Q. Thank you for your answer concerning restoring tool bar icons (July 17 Solutions). I may not have stated my problem correctly: I have a Quick Launch folder. What I do not have is space on the Windows tool bar to the right of the Start menu to place the icons, or at least I am unable to place icons there. Icons such as the sound, virus and time are on the right side of the bar, and when I open a program, the program box shows up on the tool bar to the right of Start button. I must have done something to delete the use of this feature. I hope I have stated my problem more clearly this time.

A. Aside from the Quick Launch area, you will not be able to place icons on the task bar. An alternative may be to drag the shortcuts you would want to place there to the Start menu. This won't put them on the task bar but will place a shortcut at the top of the Start menu. Of course, you also can drag them to the Quick Launch area.

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